Even after all this time The Charlatans are still finding new ground to explore, new avenues to charge down.
Recently hosting their own North By Northwich festival, the band played host to a number of guest performers, an exhibition, and a whole lot more.
There seems to a rare evergreen energy running through them, connecting with long-term fans while still looking to the underground.
New EP 'Totally Eclipsing' taps into this energy, a new four-part document that finds The Charlatans challenging themselves once again.
Here, Tim Burgess writes for Clash about the band's new EP, their recent festival, and how they've been able to take stock of the position they're in...
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EPs are funny old things, not quite the immediate sugar rush hit of a single yet not the all you can eat buffet of an album. They have the advantage of both - no super long wait to fit in with any kind of release schedule but enough tracks where you can work out the landscape in which the band are existing.
So we made one and it’s a four-track beauty, in my humble opinion of course.
The first greyhound out of the traps and sprinting along with an ace new video. Legging it after that hare.
I often think I know as much about the songs as anyone listening to them. They are written in an almost subconscious way and when I hear them on the radio, I can hear them with more clarity than the cut and thrust of writing and recording.
This one has a Bunnymen tribute with a whammy bar guitar note and a well placed ‘ahhhh ah’ - it’s about what we’re about. Being in a band. Kind of like looking at the me in The Charlatans compared to me in the regular world. The person I used to be, propelling into the future to find the present day me: “It used to be, that part of me, was in everybody else’s hands...”
Sometimes life is very complicated but “we continue, because we get along” captures the simplicity of doing things before you love them. That’s where we are with The Charlatans at the moment.
North By Northwich was a fantastic 10 days when we returned to the town where the band met. We put on an exhibition and invited some of our favourite bands to play. It was a real celebration and a chance to see where we were. 'Totally Eclipsing' became the soundtrack to the exhibition.
This one really grabs you and has a fist aloft singalong chorus. It took a while to sort the order of the song. Like one of those puzzles of squares that you move round to make a picture - eventually, we knew when we had found the perfect order. We’ve not played it live yet but I think it’ll be a favourite.
'Indefinitely In Your Debt'
We played it at North By Northwich and on a session for 5Live. It’s a sweet song that’s a little look over a shoulder to what’s passed and maybe what might have been.
It’s a bit wistful - what’s gone, shapes us. I just had a listen and it struck me that it’s a bit of a sundowner cocktail of a song - it’s a little look around at what’s happening, no hands in the air moment but maybe a slight stroke of the chin. A slow burner but a beauty none the less.
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The Charlatans will release new EP 'Totally Eclipsing' on June 8th.
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